Montejo monument vandalized as hundreds march for Women’s Day

The morning after International Women's Day, Mérida's Montejo monument is covered with spray paint is surrounded by placards protesting violence and oppression against women in Mexico. Photo: Lee Steele
  • The morning after International Women's Day, Mérida's Montejo monument is covered with spray paint and surrounded by placards protesting violence and oppression against women in Mexico. Photo: Lee Steele

An International Women’s Day march in Mérida highlighted growing issues of gender violence and inequality, ending with another monument covered with spray paint.

The Monument to the Montejo, which has been under scrutiny, became the target of some protestors’ rage. The vandalism mirrored violence during the 2019 march, which focused its rage on a statue honoring motherhood.

The rally started at Parque Santa Ana and headed to the Paseo de Montejo in the late afternoon. While a more peaceful faction rallied at the Monument a la Patria further up the road, the more boisterous protest remained at the Montejo monument, off the Remate.

The base of the controversial statue was painted with slogans such as “Feminicide Mexico,” “Death to the Patriarchy” and “Assassins of Mayas.”

Diario de Yucatán reported that men at the rally were asked to leave, despite the fact that many of them were members of the media.

During the rally, police placed traffic cones in the streets surrounding Santa Ana park and an ambulance was on standby a block away.

In Mexico City, conflicts were more violent and police fired flash-bang grenades at protestors who carried blowtorches, bats and hammers.

Anger has grown toward President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is backing a politician accused by several women of rape.

At least 62 police and 19 civilians were injured by late Monday evening, according to authorities.

In 2020, an average of 10 women were killed in Mexico every day, and there were some 16,000 cases of rape. An investigation by Animal Politico found that from 2014 to 2018, only about 5% of all sexual assault allegations, including rape, resulted in a criminal sentence.

Lee Steele

Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012.